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World
31 Dec 2017

These astronauts will celebrate New Year 16 times in space!

ISS-crew to experience New Year's Eve 16 times

Six astronauts will get to celebrate the New Year's Day 16 times aboard the International Space Station (ISS), at 402.3km above Earth, encircling our planet every 90 minutes, according to NASA.

NASA added they would experience 16 sunrise and sunsets.

The astronauts will have light duty work and family conferences before taking the day (1 January) off to ring in the New Year 2018!

In context

ISS-crew to experience New Year's Eve 16 times
How is ISS team going to celebrate New Year?

ISS Crew

How is ISS team going to celebrate New Year?

The current ISS crew consists of three astronauts from the US, two cosmonauts from Russia, and one Japanese astronaut.

In a video, ISS residents hinted at how they would spend the day and shared their favorite New Year traditions.

NASA said, "The crew will take the day off, share a meal and reflect on the past year and plan for the year ahead."

Research

Crew conducting life science studies to help mission doctors: NASA

NASA said the ISS Expedition 54 crew was "wrapping up the final work week of 2017 orbiting Earth and conducting science."

The team is currently studying life science for helping mission doctors to keep astronauts healthy and strong while in the outer space.

NASA has been planning to send longer human missions beyond the low-Earth orbit and is learning to keep the astronauts "self-sustainable."

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What are the astronauts currently doing?

Experiments

What are the astronauts currently doing?

Ahead of New Year's Eve, Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai is spending time on the exercise bike, for a study to understand physical exertion in space.

Meanwhile, the US's Scott Tingle was harvesting plants for experiments and storing botany samples in a "science freezer" for analysis.

Scientists are researching how plants respond to microgravity and also understanding the molecular and genetic changes in them.

Spacewalks and other strenuous activities

NASA stated: "The life science studies help mission doctors keep astronauts healthier and stronger while living in outer space. Doctors measure the astronauts breathing and other parameters during exercise to ensure they have the strength to perform strenuous activities such as spacewalks and...emergency procedures."

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